The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), in cooperation with local Appalachian Trail (A.T.) maintaining clubs and Appalachian Trail Communities™, is seeking volunteers to support A.T. Communities with outreach, education, local projects, events and initiatives. These positions work directly with the A.T. Community Advisory Committee and the appropriate A.T. maintaining club to identify committee and club needs, and create a position that will work with and support both their interests. Ambassadors may table events providing A.T. information, work on highlighting the A.T. in local media and through social media, reach out to engage merchants n events, reach out to non-traditional hiking audiences, and/or recruit local citizens to work on local maintenance, management and conservation projects on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. This is a one year term VOLUNTEER position, with the option of renewal.
What is involved? The Appalachian Trail Community Ambassador Position will:
Composed of local community representatives, Appalachian Trail Community Ambassadors from designated A.T. Communities™ will be trained to facilitate outreach to community members, visitors and groups about the A.T. and local Trail maintaining clubs. Ambassadors are responsible for increasing their knowledge about the Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the cooperative management system that is in place to help maintain and protect the A.T.
Ambassadors will become familiar with:
- A.T. Trail Club organizational structure, activities, events and volunteer opportunities;
- Support recruitment for ATC volunteer opportunities including Trail Crews, rare plant monitoring, invasive species plant monitoring and control workshops, phenology monitoring, other trail maintenance projects as regionally prioritized;
- Provide information on the A.T., ATC and Trail Club at conferences, events and workshops;
- Be encouraged to participate and lead a hike for Family Hiking Day;
- Communicate community efforts by collecting and reporting projects, participants, volunteer hours and events.
The goal of developing and training Appalachian Trail Community™ Ambassadors is to motivate participation and engagement to help bolster volunteer stewardship of the 2,186-mile Trail, to include preserving Trail lands and adjacent priority conservation landscapes critical to the Appalachian Trail recreational experience.
A.T. Community Program overview:
Trail visionary and forester Benton MacKaye, who coined the now familiar term “regional planning” in his proposal for the Trail, never conceived of the Trail as simple, remote track in the wilderness. Rather, he advocated a linear community that would both conserve and use the natural resources of the eastern mountains in revitalizing the American people and the lands on which they depend. Today, the Appalachian Trail is the most significant conservation corridor in the eastern United States. Having successfully developed the Trail and its 6,000-member volunteer base, ATC is now focused on carrying out the second half of MacKaye’s vision, protecting signature landscapes and the unique cultural flavor of communities along its 14-state route from Georgia to Maine.
The Appalachian Trail Community™ program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the A.T. Towns, counties, and communities along the A.T.’s corridor are considered assets by A.T. hikers and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail. The program serves to assist communities with local initiatives such as sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the A.T.
* Bold indicates Communities that already have an Ambassador
Gilmer County/Ellijay, Georgia
White County/Helen, Georgia
Union County/Blairsville, Georgia
Towns County/Hiawassee & Young Harris, Georgia
Franklin, North Carolina
Fontana Dam, North Carolina
Hot Springs, North Carolina
Unicoi County, Tennessee
Marion/Smyth County, Virginia
Buena Vista, Virginia
Nelson County, Virginia
Page County/Luray, Virginia
Front Royal/Warren County, Virginia
Clarke County/Berryville, Virginia
Harpers Ferry/Bolivar, West Virginia
Greater Waynesboro Area, Pennsylvania
Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania
Wind Gap, Pennsylvania
Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania
Warwick, New York
Harlem Valley A.T. Community (Dover & Pawling), New York
North Adams, Massachusetts
Great Barrington, Massachusetts
Hanover, New Hampshire